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Nature. 2014 Apr 3;508(7494):88-92. doi: 10.1038/nature13028. Epub 2014 Feb 23.

The hippocampal CA2 region is essential for social memory.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Kavli Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10032, USA.
2
1] Department of Neuroscience, Kavli Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10032, USA [2] Department of Pharmacology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Abstract

The hippocampus is critical for encoding declarative memory, our repository of knowledge of who, what, where and when. Mnemonic information is processed in the hippocampus through several parallel routes involving distinct subregions. In the classic trisynaptic pathway, information proceeds from entorhinal cortex (EC) to dentate gyrus to CA3 and then to CA1, the main hippocampal output. Genetic lesions of EC (ref. 3) and hippocampal dentate gyrus (ref. 4), CA3 (ref. 5) and CA1 (ref. 6) regions have revealed their distinct functions in learning and memory. In contrast, little is known about the role of CA2, a relatively small area interposed between CA3 and CA1 that forms the nexus of a powerful disynaptic circuit linking EC input with CA1 output. Here we report a novel transgenic mouse line that enabled us to selectively examine the synaptic connections and behavioural role of the CA2 region in adult mice. Genetically targeted inactivation of CA2 pyramidal neurons caused a pronounced loss of social memory--the ability of an animal to remember a conspecific--with no change in sociability or several other hippocampus-dependent behaviours, including spatial and contextual memory. These behavioural and anatomical results thus reveal CA2 as a critical hub of sociocognitive memory processing.

PMID:
24572357
PMCID:
PMC4000264
DOI:
10.1038/nature13028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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